'He’s a good coach, without doubt' - Zola hoping to see Conte stay at Chelsea

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A former favourite at Stamford Bridge believes the Italian remains the right man for the club and should be offered assurances on his future

Chelsea need to “sort” their Antonio Conte issues, says Gianfranco Zola, who believes the Italian is still the right man to lead the club forward.

The Blues boss continues to see his future called into question after failing to piece together a Premier League title defence at Stamford Bridge.

A second stint with the Italy national team is being mooted, with the 48-year-old on the Azzurri’s shortlist as they prepare to make a permanent appointment for a vacant post.

Zola, though, believes that Conte should be given the chance to at least see out a contract in England that is due to run until 2019, with there few better options available.

A Chelsea legend told talkSPORT when asked if he thinks his countryman will leave this summer: “I really hope not, because I think he is an asset for the club.

“He’s a good coach, without doubt — he’s actually one of the best around.

“At the moment there are certainly some problems.

“If the club and manager want to continue, and I think that will be good for the club, they should sort [the problems] out because the competition out there is so incredible.

“There is no league in the world where you see teams get so much better every year — it’s so competitive off the pitch and on the pitch.”

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Conte remains in a position to oversee a productive end to the 2017-18 campaign for Chelsea.

The Blues have made their way to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they will meet Southampton, while a top-four finish is still within reach.

A five-point gap separates them from the Champions League spots at present, but they do have some crucial clashes to come — starting with a London derby against fourth-placed Tottenham on Sunday.

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